noun (plural toppies)South African • informal
- A middle-aged or elderly man: a toppie with grey hair turned us awayMore example sentences
- When he (an old De La Sallian who became a noted chemist and mayor of Molteno and is now retired in Port Elizabeth) and I went to the last Old Boys dinner we attended, I said to him, ‘But where are all the old ‘toppies’?’
- An old toppie from the Vatican of all places stood up and said: ‘I have listened to all the problems all morning, but… if the country is still functioning after 10 years and farmers are still farming, you must have done something right.’
1960s: perhaps from Zulu thopi 'growing sparsely' (describing thinning hair), or from Hindi ṭopī 'hat'.